How to use the Translate app on iPhone (iOS 15 updated)

How to use Translate app on iPhone in iOS 15

Apple introduced its inbuilt Translate app with iOS 14, enabling you to translate text and voice commands. With the latest iOS 15 update, new features like system-wide translation, auto-translate, and face-to-face view have been added. For a linguaphile traveler like me, the Translate app joins the list of best iPhone translation apps. Let us see how to use it.

List of languages supported by iPhone’s Translate app

The iOS 15 Translate app currently supports translation between any combination of the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • English (UK)
  • English (US)
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)
  • Italian (Italy)
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin (China Mainland)
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Russian
  • Spanish (Spain)

How to use the Translate app on iPhone in iOS 14

Before you can translate, you need to allow the Translate app to access cellular data.
Go to Settings → Translate and toggle ON Cellular Data.  

turn on cellular data for translate app on iphone

Alternatively, you can enable the On-Device mode if you want the app to work offline.

enable on-device mode for translate app on iphone

For this, however, you will need to download your preferred languages as explained further below.

  1. Open the Translate app.

    set up language translate app in ios 14
  2. Select the languages that you want to translate ‘from’ and ‘to’ by tapping on each and selecting from the list. 

    tap on language and select language for translation on iphoneIn the list, you can also scroll down and download languages for seamless offline use.

    download language for offline use in ios 14 translate app on iphone
  3. Now, you can either type in the sentence you want to translate using the respective language keyboard or tap the microphone icon and speak out what you want to translate. Your translated phrase or sentence will appear immediately.

    translate text using translate app in ios 14

You can tap a specific word in the translated text to get its individual meaning.

find meaning for specific translated word in translate app

Further, if there are some particular phrases you want to keep handy, you can favorite them.

tap on star to favorite particular phrase in translate app on iphone
tap on favorite to view your translations in ios 14 translate app on iphone

Then when you tap on the favorites tab at the bottom of the screen, you will see your saved translations as well as your most recent translations.

You can remove a translation from favorites by sliding left and tapping Unfavorite.

tap on unfavorite to remove translation from favorite in translate app on iphone

Similarly, you can slide left on a recent translation and then either delete it or add to favorites.

delete recent translation from translate app on iphone

Use the Apple’s Translate app in iOS 15

  1. Open the Translate app, and set your two desired languages in the Translation tab.
    Thanks to the drop-down menus in iOS 15, language selection is easy.
  2. Tap Enter text and type or tap the microphone icon and speak. Soon you will see the translation.
    If what you said was picked up incorrectly by the app, tap the text and manually correct it.
  3. Now, you will see the multiple options.
    • Tap two outwards arrow icon to enter the full screen.
    • Tap star to set this translation as favorite.
      You can access all these under the Favorites tab.
    • Tap the play icon to hear the translation.
  4. Enter text or tap the microphone icon again to continue translating more sentences.
  5. Tap the three-dots icon at the bottom right to Detect Language or Play Translations.

    How to use iPhone Translate app

How to use Conversation mode in the iOS 15 Translate app

Conversation mode is helpful when you are talking to and fro with a person in another language. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Inside the iOS 15 Translate app, tap Conversation.
  2. Tap the microphone icon and speak.
  3. The Translate app will translate it into the chosen language.

    How to use Conversation mode in iOS 15 Translate app
  4. Tap the VR-like icon at the bottom left to enter Face to Face view.
    This lets you converse conveniently by dividing the screen into two halves – one faces you, and the other half faces the person on the other end.
  5. Hold the phone flat and take turns to speak.

    Face to Face view in Conversation mode
  6. Tap the three dots icon to Auto Translate, Play Translations, or automatically Detect Language.
  7. Auto Translate: This lets you translate without tapping the microphone button each time during a conversation. Your iPhone automatically detects when you start or stop speaking. You can enable Auto Translate by tapping the three-dots icon in any Conversation mode.

    Auto translate and other options in Conversation mode

Use System-wide translation in iOS 15

In iOS 15, system-wide translation comes handy. This works in any app where you can select the text, including text in photos. Here’s how to use this super-handy feature.

  1. Open Safari, Notes, Mail, etc., and select a word or sentence.
  2. Tap Translate.
  3. Tap the triangular play button to hear the translation.
  4. Next, you have handy options to copy the translation, change the language, favorite the translation, or open it in the Translate app.

    How to use System-wide translation in iOS 15

The translation feature built into Siri lets you translate on the go. To use this,

How to use Siri to translate conveniently

  1. Summon Siri by pressing the Side button/Home button or saying, ‘Hey Siri.’
  2. Next, say something like ‘Translate where is the railway station into Russian.’
  3. Siri will translate it and also show an option to play the translation.
  4. If you tap this Siri card, it opens in the Translate app.
Quickly use Siri to translate in iOS 15

Alternatively, you may also ask Siri ‘translate this for me.’ Next, it will ask you to choose a language and then ask you to speak what you would like to translate.

How to use Siri to translate conveniently in iOS 15

How to use the Translate app offline

You can download languages beforehand, which lets you translate on-device in areas without mobile data or Wi-Fi. Here’s how to use the Translate app offline.

  1. Open iPhone Settings and tap Translate.
  2. Tap Downloaded Languages.
  3. Tap the download arrow next to the desired language.
    Ensure you download two languages – your native one and the one in which you want the offline translations.
  4. To remove a downloaded language, swipe right to left under AVAILABLE OFFLINE and tap Delete.

    How to use Translate app offline on iPhone

This is how you can use the improved Translate app on iPhone in iOS 15. I hope this guide helped you understand and learn more about this handy app. If you have any questions, please ask via the comments section below.

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